Harry Gant: Alexander County's Racing Legend - myfoxcarolinas.com

Harry Gant: Alexander County's Racing Legend

Posted: Updated:
  • Kyle McCurryMore>>

  • Kyle McCurry

    Kyle McCurry

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 11:14 AM EDT2014-04-02 15:14:24 GMT
    I am a Digital Journalist based in Hickory. I cover Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Watauga counties. I was born in Weaverville, NC. My high school dream was to be a White House correspondent, then college happened and I got involved with the radio station at Western Carolina University.
    I am a Digital Journalist based in Hickory. I cover Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Watauga counties. I was born in Weaverville, NC. My high school dream was to be a White House correspondent, then college happened and I got involved with the radio station at Western Carolina University.

  • The Labontes Look Back On Storied Careers and One Historic Day at Atlanta Motor Speedway

    The Labontes Look Back On Storied Careers and One Historic Day at Atlanta Motor Speedway

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:45 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:45:09 GMT
    In 1996, Atlanta Motor Speedway played host to an historic celebration for a family from Corpus Christi, Texas.
    In 1996, Atlanta Motor Speedway played host to an historic celebration for a family from Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • NASCAR's 2015 Schedule Well Received By Insiders, Legends

    NASCAR's 2015 Schedule Well Received By Insiders, Legends

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:42:46 GMT
    NASCAR released the 2015 schedules for its top three series last week. It's being praised for a number of reasons amongst the industries insiders, but nothing seems to be more welcomed news than the return fall racing to Darlington Raceway.
    NASCAR released the 2015 schedules for its top three series last week. It's being praised for a number of reasons amongst the industries insiders, but nothing seems to be more welcomed news than the return fall racing to Darlington Raceway.
Alexander County is rich in racing history. "Handsome" Harry Gant is one of Taylorsville's favorite sons and a NASCAR legend. When he was growing up, he remembers Saturday nights in the neighboring city of Hickory.

"It was a sin if you didn't go to Hickory on a Saturday night," said Gant. "That's what you done, you hurried up and got anything you had to do on up until I started racing over there, that's what you done. You go to the race in Hickory on a Saturday night. It was a blast....the biggest thing around here."

While he is known for his racing success, that was not the original plan.

“When I went into racing, I didn’t plan on making that my living and I never did. I raced for a hobby and I built houses for a living. I didn’t ever project going any further than that.”


In 1979, Gant entered NASCAR's top series and lost the Rookie of the Year title to Dale Earnhardt. He entered the record books 13 years later as the oldest person to win a Sprint Cup race.

“I was about 39, 38 when I ran for Rookie of the Year, 42 when I won the first race. I never thought much about it really. All the way through, people made more of a big deal out of it than I even thought about it, you know. They had badges made that life begins at 51.”

In all, he won 18 Sprint Cup races, including four in a row in September 1991, which earned him the nickname "Mr. September”. Despite his success, he retired in 1994.

Now, he raises cattle on his hometown farm, but occasionally makes it back to Hickory Motor Speedway to watch up-and-comer Annabeth Barnes race.

“Whenever her class runs, I watch her. Because of the go carts, I mean I have heard name mentioned forever around here when she was winning them go kart races, and then she started racing at Hickory," said Gant.


But, if you ask him about his chances of being inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, don't expect an answer.


  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Five Takeaway's From Cam Newton's #HuddleUp Documentary

    Five Takeaway's From Cam Newton's #HuddleUp Documentary

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:34 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:34:47 GMT

    Newton released the final segment of his offseason documentary "Huddle Up." Here are the high points. 

    Newton released the final segment of his offseason documentary "Huddle Up." Here are the high points. 

  • Local vending machine now accepting pennies

    Local vending machine now accepting pennies

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:30:37 GMT
    Charlotte company Penny Brotherz says it has developed the first of its kind in "penny-vending" -- a vending machine that accepts pennies on a wide range of items.
    Charlotte company Penny Brotherz says it has developed the first of its kind in "penny-vending" -- a vending machine that accepts pennies on a wide range of items.
  • Social Media Helping Law Enforcement Locate Suspect

    Social Media Helping Law Enforcement Locate Suspect

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:15:13 GMT
    Law enforcement across the state has stepped up their social media game, and are using it as a tool to help fight crime. 
    Law enforcement across the state has stepped up their social media game, and are using it as a tool to help fight crime. 
Powered by WorldNow

WJZY FOX 46
3501 Performance Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28214
Main Number: (704) 398-0046

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices